Wedding Venues - are you selling yourselves short?
Are you a wedding venue coordinator and wondering if you are offering your couples everything they are looking for in a venue? Or do you ever have that feeling that you miss out on a booking because of things that are out of your control?
In most cases the venue staff are the first professionals that a couple will encounter upon their wedding planning. It is therefore imperative that you come across to them as the font of all knowledge. I can guarantee that if you are super helpful and are full of advice your couples will instantly feel confident in your abilities.
So, when it comes to meeting couples and having the opportunity to sell your venue to them are you confident you are ticking all the boxes the couple are looking for?
In real terms, there’s no doubt that you are letting them know which of your rooms are licenced and for how many guests and then of course you will advise that they should book their Registrar immediately to ensure the date is available. This is all factually correct, of course.
But what about couples who are looking for a smaller or larger ceremony space, or maybe an outdoor ceremony. If your licenced spaces do not tick the box for the couple here, what happens now? Are you sending them away with a “No, sorry we can’t do that”?
If the answer is Yes, we send them away, my next question is – are you losing bookings because of it?
Again, if the answer is Yes then please read on and think again.
The answer to your couples needs could be the use of a Celebrant
A Celebrant performs the Wedding Ceremony without the legal part which produces a marriage certificate. But, the pure fact that the legal part is left out is the exact reason why a Celebrant can provide your couple with their ideal ceremony space – Because we do not need to perform the ceremony in a licenced area! Now I know that you, or indeed some of your couples, may have been lead to believe that a Celebrant wedding is not a real wedding. WHAT!?! Please don’t say that out loud to me, I might cry!
Within a church or civil marriage it is only the declaratory words and the contractual words that are required to make the marriage legal and then of course you will sign the Register to register the marriage in the same way you register a birth or a death. Everything else within the ceremony is non legal and purely ceremonial and set out by tradition only.
So of course, what I can offer as a Celebrant is definitely a real Wedding Ceremony – it will have as much ceremonial content as required. Not only that it will be unique to each and every couple and therefore totally personal to them. The only stipulation is that your couple would need to arrange to register the marriage on a separate day at the Register Office with their two witnesses. If you need more convincing about the topic of whether this is real or not please read my blog www.kellyhcelebrant.co.uk/post/a-celebrant-led-wedding-not-the-real-thing
If, as a venue, you have decided against offering any other spaces to be available for a ceremony other than those that are licenced - then of course this is your prerogative and will depend on the use of those areas.
But, you may still be losing your ideal client by offering the same bulk standard ceremony as every other licenced venue. I urge you to really listen to your couples and understand their needs and their wants.
Why are they considering your venue?
Is it because they want everything under one roof? It’s definitely something that many couples prefer, but did you realise that some feel it is a compromise because they will miss out on the religious ceremony they had always dreamt of. Just because they chose a licenced venue over a place or worship they should not feel they have to skip out all the traditional content they know and love. If you are hearing this vibe from your couple please talk to them about considering a Celebrant. It is a huge misconception that Celebrants perform non-religious ceremonies. Independent Celebrants will be happy to include any content from any faith that the couple wish to have included. For me personally this has worked incredibly well for mixed faith couples and I have performed Ceremonies with aspects of Jewish, Iranian and Chinese traditions and religions included to make for a truly blended ceremony.
What other reasons are couples not able to book your venue?
It could be because the Registrar is already fully booked for the date they have set their heart on (or only offering a really unpopular time of say 10am). Once again a Celebrant can rescue this booking with a solution. Obviously by using Independent Celebrants the couple will have a lot more choice as to who to use for their ceremony and hopefully they will find some availability for their special day.
Be the venue that shows compassion to your couples needs and be knowledgeable to every choice available to them.
As I mentioned before, it would be really refreshing for couples to encounter a venue that is completely interested in their needs and able to offer a solution for any reservations a couple might be thinking of. You will have a long relationship with each of your couples so it is imperative you get to know them right from the start. If you are chatting to a couple who have very alternative ideas then maybe you can talk to them about making the ceremony a lot more suitable for their needs by choosing one which is not bulk standard.
A ceremony which stands out from the crowd could be the WOW factor that is missing from the rest of the day.
At this point I would like to recap on the benefits of using a Celebrant;
· I do not need to perform a Ceremony within a licenced venue / grounds
· I do not have a “one size fits all” script – each one is written from scratch for each and every couple based upon their personalities and their needs
· I perform only 1 ceremony per day, which means the couple can chose and book whatever time they want in order to fit their timeline
· I can add religious aspects from any faith
· I can adapt to any situation – including blending families, involving loved ones within the ceremony and agreeing to any music, readings or content required
· I get to know each couple and am in contact with them for many months, so on the day they are stood at the top of an aisle with someone they have a relationship with rather than a total stranger
I would love the opportunity to speak to you and your staff about my role as an Independent Celebrant and would certainly welcome any questions you have.
07827 927947 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kellyhcelebrant.co.uk